PILL THE DOG

 

6) OH DEAR! WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BE?


    We metastasized to California, moved as a disease from one part of the country to another.

    The ancient Greeks took great care to preserve their laws. The laws were written on scrolls and carefully stored in earthen jars, entombed in the back of dry caves. But before the texts were bottled, they were wrapped to further preserve them. The material used to wrap the laws was old copy, old newspaper, any worthless lambskin that had out-lived its usefulness. The Greeks used the paper of their dramas to wrap up and preserve scrolls containing their laws. This is how we have a record of Greek dramas, scraps of paper we found wrapped around whole scrolls of boring law books. Only a handful of Greek dramas survived from the ancients, a page here, part of an act there, wrapping up the laws, the scrolls that contained the laws. The great dramatic art of the Greeks was used to cover up, wrap and protect a bunch of parking regulations.

    Today, when I helped a friend move, I saw the computer box stuffed with novels, works of literature, William Faulkner, Annie Dillard, Edgar Allen Poe. Not novels to be read, but novels being used as packing material, buffer and padding to protect the computer. And I wonder, "What will future archeologist think of us when they discovered this worthless piece of machinery, preserved in some landfill, still in its box, and surrounded by ruined works of art, long faded and turned to flake and dust, discarded like the dramas of the Greeks?"